We knew that becoming parents meant changing our lives forever. But there are some things that we took for granted before we became parents…
1. Going to the bathroom alone, with a shut door.
Unless someone else is able to keep Jasper fully distracted, he feels that his rightful place is with the person in the bathroom behind the closed door, monitoring our progress.
2. Being able to try on clothes in a store.
Jasper is far too boisterous of a toddler to remain chained to a stroller for an hour. No amount of food or treats will keep him strapped in. Last week, he escaped my grasp and locked himself in a dressing room at Macy’s. The clerk who freed him did not seem amused.
3. Driving in the car for more than 15 minutes without a Disney DVD playing in the background.
Jasper hates the car. He tolerates our drive to school (12 minutes) without a DVD, but if our trip takes any longer, he screams until the movie is playing. When the DVD player broke mid-winter, driving got…. complicated.
4. Being able to let people sit in the back seat of my car.
Currently, there is a car seat, a diaper bag or two, a pile of 15 DVDs, Sky Zone socks, a riding helmet, a handful of juice cups, stuffed animals, and remnants of the last couple of snacks Jasper ate from the back seat. I don’t even know where a person would fit back there.
5. Being able to sit together and eat a meal on our time.
When Jasper is finished eating, he is DONE. No amount of prodding, games or discussion can keep him strapped in. Other nights, he demands course after course and refuses to leave the table until his hunger is sated.
6. Sleeping in on the weekends.
Regardless of the day of the week, Jasper is up at 6:00. While perfectly reasonable on a Monday, 6:00 hurts on Sundays. To be completely honest, Patrick usually lets me sleep until 7:00, and it feels like heaven. How lucky am I?!
7. Going to a restaurant on a whim.
Loading Jasper into the car for the briefest of trips takes 20 minutes. And he is not restaurant ready. He often throws his food on the floor, and again, he is not a kid who enjoys sitting still.
8. Swearing when the situation warranted it.
Sometimes, I miss dropping the occasional F-bomb. When I broke my finger in the garage door, Jasper was next to me. I bit back the words that were streaming though my head. “Damn It!” escaped and was immediately parroted back….oops.
9. Taking 15 uninterrupted minutes to get caught up on work email.
Twenty-first century jobs require prompt email responses. Jasper seems to have a sixth sense for when Patrick or I need to take a few minutes to scribe an answer, and will leave the activity he was fully engaged in to entwine himself around our legs and demand our full, undivided attention. His ability to need us at an otherwise occupied moment uncanny.
10. Visiting the grocery store in peace.
Jasper is happy to go to the store, but has demands about what he wears and where he rides in the carriage. I can’t remember the last trip to the grocery store I was able to make without feeling like I was being judged. Others look at me with scorn about the fact that my kid doesn’t have on matching socks, there is a bit of lunch on his shirt and insists on only wearing one boot while singing and dancing to the Beyonce song piped in over the intercom.
“Take all the rules away. How can we live if we don’t change?”
Beyonce, you’re right again…